Last weekend's murders of former SEAL and "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield have shaken the special forces community- and the shooting world.
To many in both those tightly-knit communities, Kyle was a great example of a warrior, father, and husband. Kyle's close friendship with Littlefield -and his willingness to help with the outreach to troubled veterans- speaks volumes about him as well.
Unfortunately, I never met Chad. And I didn't know Chris well, but the few times I spoke with him, I found the same kind of quiet confidence common in men who have nothing to prove to anyone. I also found a devoted husband and loving father who would much rather talk to you about his family than his four tours of duty in Afghanistan or the chest full of medals he'd collected for his work with the SEALS.
As a community, we are diminished by the loss of both men, but our loss is nothing like the losses to their families. Plenty of people, including our readers, have asked: is there anything we can do to help?
I'm glad to tell you that there is.
Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield. Photos courtesy of Craft International.
The guys at www.tacticaltshirts.com
have created a memorial shirt for Chris and Chad and designated the profits from each ($10/per shirt) to a pair of trusts established for the Kyle and Littlefield families.
The Chris Kyle Memorial Trust is being administered by Chris Kirkpatrick, attorney for the Kyle family and Craft International, LLC, the training company Kyle founded.
As Kirkpatrick explained to me yesterday, "it's been a tragic and hectic couple of days trying to process the events of last Saturday and coping with the aftermath. Both Chad and Chris were great guys -and will be missed terribly."
Both men leave behind young children who won't have the chance to know first-hand what great guys their dads were. As Kirkpatrick reminded me, "they were great friends, and Chris would be pissed at all of us if we didn't take care of both families."
Couldn't agree more. So....what you're reading here is the first "official" announcement of the trusts and the tribute t-shirts.
Word of the t-shirts first leaked out on Tuesday. On Tuesday night, incoming orders crashed the tacticaltshirts.com web server.
With that logistical problem, and the question of absolute accountability for funds collected, we decided to sit tight on any announcements until we could offer you -reliably- the ability to contribute if you wanted, knowing all the donations would go to the families.
We've been assured by Marky at www.tacticaltshirts.com
that they've migrated to another server capable of handling the traffic. And Chris Kirkpatrick/The Craft has confirmed the trust funds are established and running.
If you want to donate to the Kyle and Littlefield families, you can learn more about the trusts established for the families The Craft website
. From there, you can follow the instructions for donations via credit card, check or wire transfer.
You can get the memorial t-shirts from the guys at tacticaltshirts.com at http://tacticaltshirts.com/shop/shirt-chris-kyle-memorial-t-shirt/
As always, we'll keep you posted.